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Perfect birthday present for Jeev

Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei): Jeev Milkha Singh celebrated his 41st birthday in style by winning the Asia-Pacific Lifetime Achievement award along with 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus and eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie here.

“This is a massive recognition for something that I have absolutely loved to do for the past two decades,” said Jeev who turned 41 on Saturday. “This is one of the most prestigious awards in the Asia-Pacific region, but to be named alongside someone like Jack Nicklaus and Colin Montgomerie...it really doesn't get any better than this.

“Both Nicklaus and Colin have been great inspirations for me through everything they achieved in their sterling careers. And this award simply adds to my motivation to try and become even better and bring more glory to Asian and Indian golf.”

The award for Jeev came in recognition of his achievements around the world, including four titles in Europe, four in Japan and six others on Asian Tour.

Overall, he has 19 international titles and has twice won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in a career that is almost two decades old. Montgomerie also received a Lifetime Achievement Award, while the inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Group Global Legacy Award was bestowed upon Jack Nicklaus.

Meanwhile, a match-saving putt from Jeev ensured a fine Asian fightback on the second day of the Royal Trophy here. Playing with Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, a crucial half point against experienced Spaniards Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Jimenez, kept Asia in the hunt as they won two other matches and halved another.

Asia won the second day 3-1 and the total score is now 4.5-3.5 in favour of the Europeans.

Jeev denied experienced Spaniards victory when he holed a four-footer for par on the 18th green and the crowd on the greenside started singing, ‘Happy Birthday’.